I returned from Jupiter, Florida two hours ago and while ArtiGras was taking place just a few blocks away, I was attending Cardinals and Marlins Spring Training at Roger Dean Stadium.
I arrived at approximately 10:30 A.M. to see many Marlins Pitchers begin to file in. Today was the day for pitchers and catchers to report, but many players including Dontrelle Willis have been at the complex for a few days.
I had attended Cardinals Spring Training last season but never have I had the opportunity to check out the Fish. Temperatures might have been in the low 50's, but the sun was beaming down and I was ready to snag a few autographs.
To my surprise, I received a plethora of signatures and through this experience I began to learn how amiable many of the players are. The first person to sign was starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez, but that was followed by Josh Johnson, Mike Jacobs, Dan Uggla, Miguel Olivo, Dontrelle Willis, Renyel Pinto, Reggie Abercrombie, Eric Reed, Joe Borchard, Josh Willingham and manager Fredi Gonzalez all coming over graciously to sign for the 10-15 fans who were stationed with me.
The ace of the pitching staff Dontrelle Willis greatly shocked me because he stood there for a good 15-20 minutes signing for any fan who wanted to meet him. You would think when you're such a high profile pitcher you wouldn't be so nice, but that wasn't the case with Willis. He receives the award for nicest Marlin.
It was a fantastic experience from Marlins camp and I look forward to going back later in the week to meet more players.